25 Sep 2013 03:00
By: Mulisa Simiyasa
OMARURU, 25 SEP (NAMPA) A 35-year-old man with a little monkey seated on his shoulder on Saturday attracted a large crowd of people as he walked down the streets of Omaruru town in the Erongo Region.
Masias Thomas is well-known in Omaruru for playing with the three-year-old little male monkey which he has named Siku, derived from the Oshiwambo word esiku, which means one day.
Thomas was on Saturday seen saying a few words like, take this bread to Siku in Oshiwambo and Portuguese, and Siku normally reacted by turning towards him to receive the piece of food.
Siku is not chained and moves around freely, eating slices of bread, fruits and vegetables, Thomas said.
He claims to have discovered Siku in 2011 in some thick bushes around the Onamwilii village in the Ohangwena Region.
He told Nampa on Saturday at Omaruru that the little monkey had seemed lonely and hungry on the night he first saw it.
I tried to ignore him, but he looked into my face directly. After I had looked everywhere for the footprints [of other monkeys] or an adult monkey near him and saw nothing, I decided to take him along with me back home, said Thomas.
According to his estimate, Siku looked to be about two-and-half days old at the time.
Since then Siku was never lonely because we enjoy playing together. He trusts me a lot, and I also learn a lot of basic life aspects from him, Thomas said, adding that Siku often behaves like a human being.
The interview between Nampa and Thomas was taking place at the Omaruru Open Market in Ozondje township, and several people stopped by and stared in curious wonder at the astonishing sight of the little monkey sitting comfortably on the shoulder of a human being.
But Siku suddenly started to get tense as more people encircled him and Thomas at the Open Market.
He opened his ears wide, and Thomas explained that this was a sign that Siku was becoming uncomfortable with the circle of people around him.
Thomas gave Siku a piece of green apple to calm him down.
When Siku started chewing the apple, the people broke out in laughter and this seemed to calm the monkey even more.
That is what calms Siku down, when he sees people laughing, Thomas remarked.
Thomas, who was dressed in a green unbuttoned overall, urged the Namibian Government to allow people to tame some wild animals like birds, monkeys, snakes and lions, saying such animals could in fact become trusted friends to humans.
He said he refuses to sell Siku, even to one Omaruru resident who asked to buy the monkey for N.dollars 250 on Saturday.
According to a Game Ranger in the Otjozondjupa Region, Victor Shituleni it is against the law for a civilian to tame wild animals without being granted a permit by the Minister of Environment and Tourism.
He said according to the Nature Conservation Ordinance Act No. 4 of 1975, Section 40 (i), and (iii), on capturing and killing wild animals, no person is allowed or shall intentionally keep or kill wild animals without a permit granted by the Minister of Environment and Tourism.
At the beginning of this year, we confiscated many wild animals from people in the Otjozondjupa Region, and that monkey is supposed to be confiscated and let go into the bushes where it belongs, Shituleni said.